“The Situation” with PHARMA

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Here are two sentence fragments (not taken out of context) from After Party Chat that show just how broken the pharmaceutical industry is:

…in 2012 Big Pharma spent 19 times as much on marketing as they did on research.

…Jersey Shore’s Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino is now shilling for Suboxone.

It’s hard to know where to start with this one. So many angles are troubling. Among them, is this guy even an addict? Or, did he suffer from pseudoaddiction.

5 Comments

Filed under Controversies, Treatment

5 responses to ““The Situation” with PHARMA

  1. Thank you for posting my article. I really appreciate it!

  2. brian

    ahem… i have to say as an addiction researcher i disagree with your position on maintenance therapies in general, but of course it is problemmatic, not the ideal, prone to abuse, what-have-you. i respect your position, cause i used to hold it as well, the idea that you’re just switching from one additction to the other.
    but i mean, i watched the vids of mike sorentino, and i mean, what the hell, maybe he does suffer from pseuoaddiction, but maybe not. and i mean, the innuendo is that the “situation”, admittedly a part of a cultural meme/absurdist joke of trashiness, is trying to advocate suboxone and thereby de-legitmizes it. Um, no, let’s say, if the man is addicted, which is VERY possible, he needs treatment. Maybe you don’t like suboxone, but it’s beneath you, as a very caring and eloquent addiction specialist, to call into question his addiction with no basis. If he’s addicted, he needs treatment. Period. If his treatment provider suggested suboxone, and it’s at least to some extent currently working for him, and he says so, well, not sure it is him “shilling.”
    [on your other point? 19:1? jeeze… sad. it does feel like sometime the ratio of salesmen to producers is out of whack all the way across society…]

    • Regarding Sorrentino, and his opiate problem (whether it’s addiction or pseudoaddiction), your point is fair. I know little of his background, other than his opiate problem was iatrogenic and relatively short-lived. If I was assessing a person, these factors point in the direction of possible pseudoaddiction, but, you’re right, I don’t have anywhere near enough information to do any more than wonder.

      About celebrity endorsements. First, they almost always arouse suspicions of a product that can’t be sold on its own merits. Secondly, celebrity endorsements are aspirational–we want to be like them in some way. Robert Wagner might be be ridiculous, but he communicates wealth. What does Sorrentino communicate? Third, Sorrentino comes across as someone who will endorse anything for a buck.

      To me, it speaks poorly of the product and the manufacturer’s priorities.

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